Meaning of “ultimate” in the English Dictionary

"ultimate" in British English

See all translations

ultimateadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈʌl.tɪ.mət/ us /ˈʌl.tə.mət/

B2 most extreme or important because either the original or final, or the best or worst:

Of course the ultimate responsibility for the present conflict without doubt lies with the aggressor.
My manager will make the ultimate decision about who to employ.
Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal.
the ultimate luxury cruiser

More examples


uk /ˈʌl.tɪ.mət/ us /ˈʌl.tə.mət/

(Definition of “ultimate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ultimate" in American English

See all translations

ultimateadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈʌl·tə·mət/

most important, highest, last, or final:

Your ultimate goal is to play the game as well as you can.

Ultimate also means the best, most, or greatest of its kind:

Some people believe that he is the ultimate painter of this century.
noun [ U ] us /ˈʌl·tə·mət/

Winning was the ultimate, because our team had never won before.

(Definition of “ultimate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"ultimate" in Business English

See all translations


uk /ˈʌltɪmət/ us

last in a series:

The CEO is responsible for making the ultimate decision.
We are stopping off in Brussels and Cairo, but our ultimate destination is Chennai.

having more importance or more influence over what happens than all others:

ultimate goal/aim Only one in 100 workers will achieve the ultimate goal and retire on two-thirds of final salary.
The corporate HQ in the UK has ultimate authority over all our overseas operations.

(Definition of “ultimate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)